So I have been at the PhD all winter. While I HAVE made progress, I currently find myself in foggy territory. I am mulling over how quantitative data, historical accounts, and the narrative of my ethnography all somehow have to sit side by side, signposted, and well-presented as a readable whole. Current affairs are misting up the big picture (distracting me with relevant angst about the NEW ‘post-truths’or ‘alternative facts’). These present me with distant brake-lights of caution, which (if I had any energy) would easily turn me to panic.
I recognise we have a great deal of critical comment being thrown on the matter of ‘truths’ and narrative, i.e. I’ve watched British History’s Biggest Fibs, and am reading Terry Pratchett’s brilliant Wyrd Sisters (1988). He was already nailing down how to be self conscious of the power of words, turning them into ‘things’, and stories with purpose. Reading his unpredictable fantasy is helping to keep the ‘real world’ (via the BBC Radio World Service) crystal clear. Well a bit more anyway.
Normally I work through such angst about the ‘truth’ in nervous panic and frantic scribbling. But now I just feel kinda numb, kinda plonking down, resolute like a walk through a foggy field whose end I cannot see, but I know must be there…
I seriously hope it is there.